Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

I have literally been sitting here every day this week staring at this recipe trying to think of something creative to talk about.  There’s just  nothing up there.  I blame insurance.

For those of you who don’t know yet- I started a new career this summer.  I am now an insurance agent!  It’s going really well so far- I am so much happier than I used to be at my old job, I’m making money, helping people, on my own schedule working from home… it’s all good.  Except I’m losing my mind… well at least my creativity.

the cutest health insurance image out there

the cutest health insurance image out there

Don’t worry, I’m still eating and cooking up lots of good food.  I just don’t have the time or creativity to sit down and write about it for you!  BOO!  So anyway, forgive me.  Now take a minute to read about this really fabulous recipe that deserves a more interesting blog post than me telling you about my job.  It really does deserve more.  Sorry bout that scallops!

Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4 lb Sea Scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth- fat free/low sodium
  • 1  can Cannellini Beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6oz) package Baby Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon  of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Rinse scallops and pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove scallops from pan placing on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add pepper and garlic; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  3. The original recipe suggests dipping grilled garlic bread into the brothy beans.  (I garlic-ified leftover hamburger buns for us!)  Here is their recipe:  Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over 4 (1-ounce) slices French bread. Add bread to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Rub one side of each bread slice with cut sides of a halved garlic clove.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil.  Don't touch them until you are ready to flip.  You'll get a nice crust like these have.

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil. Don’t touch them until you are ready to flip. You’ll get a nice crust like these have.

Beans, spinach... nice and brothy... yum!

Beans, spinach… nice and brothy… yum!

The finished product.  Don't forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

The finished product. Don’t forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

Scallops are such a treat for me- I absolutely love them.  This recipe was different from how I normally cook my scallops and both Dave and I really enjoyed the change.

Now- who needs health or life insurance?!  Maybe some extra business will help with my creativity 😉

Check out some of these other seafood recipes…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

 

 

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Summah-summah-summah timeeeeeee…

will smith

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I told myself it was appropriate to blast my favorite Will Smith song in my car with the windows down?  How has this summer gone by so fast?!  I’m still holding on to the last few weeks of summer.  I need to make it last!

I think there’s no better way to celebrate the summer than eating fresh summer food.  I’ve been indulging in berry smoothies and farm fresh squash and zucchini.  Delish!  I’ve also realized our meals have been way lacking fresh seafood this summer.  What was I thinking?!  To catch up on everything I’ve missed, I wanted to try a new recipe from this month’s Cooking Light… a recipe with CLAMS!

Have you ever made clams at home?  It’s so easy!  I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try it out myself.  Go ahead, pick up a pound of clams and try it out…

Clams with Israeli Couscous

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 finely chopped yellow onion 
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Israeli couscous 
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1lb Littleneck Clams, thoroughly washed/scrubbed
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Green Onions or Parsley
  • 2 lemon wedges 

Ingredients:

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add couscous and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add the wine and cook for 1 more minute or until most of the liquid evaporates.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, salt, crushed red pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 7 minutes.  
  3. Nestle the clams in the couscous mixture.  Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until the clams are open.
  4. Discard any clams that have not opened, don’t eat those!  Sprinkle with green onions and serve with a lemon wedge.  

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light

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This recipe rocks.  The couscous and the clams are so flavorful from the wine and red sauce… I even snuck some extra crushed red pepper in there… of course.  I gotta tell you, after trying this dish, I’m not only a clam convert but I’m LOVING the Israeli Couscous!  I can’t wait to taste what’s next.

If you don’t have something in mind to make this weekend, pick up some clams and try this one out, savor the summer!

Seattle, WA

It has been so long that I’ve been able to write about one of our fabulous adventures because we HAVEN’T BEEN ON ONE IN OVER A YEAR!  Dave and I finally saved up some time and money and went away together for the first time since LA last December.  What a nice and much overdue treat.

Why Seattle for such a short trip?  Dave’s new job has him traveling quite a bit in the next few months.  His first business trip this season was scheduled for Seattle on a Friday morning.  Friday morning… how perfect.  We decided to make a vacation out of it, especially since Seattle is just a train ride away from his family in Vancouver.

My adventure started at 4:00 AM on Friday.  EW.  I had to catch a bus at 4:30 to catch another bus to the airport for my flight out of Philly at 7am.  All went well and after a VERY LONG day on airplanes (I finished reading Paterno -loved- and started -and finished… and also loved)  Gone Girl I arrived  in Seattle at 3pm.  I met Dave who had already finished up working for the day at our amazing hotel, the Edgewater.

The Edgewater is a waterfront hotel that was made famous by this picture of the Beatles fishing outside their room in 1964…

"Fab Fishing" Photo Cred: BeatlesInterviews.org

“Fab Fishing” Photo Cred: BeatlesInterviews.org

…and more recently, was featured on “The Layover” with my all time favorite foodie Anthony Bourdain!

#OMGWeStayedAtTheSameHotel!!!??!? Photo Cred: HotelChatter.com

#OMGWeStayedAtTheSameHotel!!!??!?
Photo Cred: HotelChatter.com

Dave and I had a room with a balcony overlooking Elliott Bay, with a fancy bathroom, fireplace, and even this little guy to keep us company (they sell them in the store… I WANT ONE!! duh).

Loved our friend in our room!  So cute

Loved our friend in our room! So cute

The view from the lobby.  Just amazing.

The view from the lobby. Just amazing.

We dropped off my luggage and got started with some sightseeing right away… we had to take advantage of what ended up being the clearest, nicest day during our time in Seattle!

We walked down the pier and took a ride on The Seattle Great Wheel which provided a beautiful view of the city.

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Dave on the Ferris Wheel

Dave on the Ferris Wheel

Pretty view from the ferris wheel

Pretty view from the ferris wheel

Next, we decided we were going to walk through the city to the Space Needle.  The quick ride in the elevator brought us up to the observation deck which gave us a 360 degree view of the city… 520 feet in the air.  OMG!  The scenery was beautiful and this was the only day we could see the towering snow-covered Mt. Rainier.  I was awestruck by this mountain… I could not believe how big and gorgeous it was.

Space Needle!

Space Needle!

GORGEOUS view of Mt. Rainier from the Space Needle.

GORGEOUS view of Mt. Rainier from the Space Needle.

After the space needle, we made a pit-stop at the Pike Place Market.  You got it… the place where they throw the fish 🙂

We munched on some smoked cheeese “trail mix” (YUM) and walked around to check out all of the fresh fish.  We ended up grabbing a small bite to eat at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese store… wow!  We had a few samples, tried out a fancy grilled cheese, and munched on their famous Cheese Curds.

Lobster!

Lobster!

I wish I could have gone shopping at the market!  Check out the size of that shrimp...

I wish I could have gone shopping at the market! Check out the size of that shrimp…

Smoked Cheese Sticks & "Trail Mix" ... nom nom

Smoked Cheese Sticks & “Trail Mix” … nom nom

 

 

 

 

photo 4 (20)

Fiiiiish

Fiiiiish

Rows and rows of fresh flowers

Rows and rows of fresh flowers

As if our day wasn’t already jam-packed enough, we then headed over to Safeco Field to watch the Seattle Mariners get crushed by the Angels.  We had such a fun time and tried some local favorites suggested by my friend Heather… Grounder’s Garlic Fries (OMG GARLICC!), Cheddar/Caramel Popcorn (I didn’t let Dave open this until we got back to the hotel for a midnight snack!), and later on, a Seattle Dog (Cream Cheese… whaaaaat?!).  We didn’t realize until we left, but at the ballpark in Seattle unlike in Philadelphia, you can leave the stadium and come back in!  I love it!  They have lots of shops and food vendors lined up outside the stadium so I imagine this would have been really cool to do.  Nice touch, Seattle.

Go Mariners!

Go Mariners!

Devoured this Cheddar-Caramel Corn ... yum!

Devoured this Cheddar-Caramel Corn … yum!

Pretty view from the ballpark.

Pretty view from the ballpark.

YUM!  Garlic fries!  We both agreed that Philly's Famous Crab Fries from Chickie and Pete's is better though :)

YUM! Garlic fries! We both agreed that Philly’s Famous Crab Fries from Chickie and Pete’s is better though 🙂

Enjoying the baseball game

Enjoying the baseball game

Next, we walked back to our hotel, stopping at a few bars along the way.  We dropped by a place that looked pretty cool called 1000 Spirits.  This would be the first of THREE times we’d visit this cocktail bar during our short stay in the city.  Dave and I loved this place!  With $5 martinis, two different happy hour times, a Happy Hour Wheel, and free drinks with a #1000Spirits tweet… we ended up having six delicious cocktails and an appetizer for only $24.  WOW!

Cocktail bar!  Got Dave into Dirty Martinis... mmm!

Cocktail bar! Got Dave into Dirty Martinis… mmm!

This is only about 1/3 of the bar!  OMG.

This is only about 1/3 of the bar! OMG.

Delicious cod cake.  Only $5 during Happy Hr.

Delicious cod cake. Only $5 during Happy Hr.

The next day, we had until our 6pm train to Vancouver to explore the city.  It was a little bit on the chilly side this day, so we decided to hit up the EMP Museum.  First, for breakfast, we stopped by The Five-Point Cafe as suggested by the Layover & Anthony Bourdain.  I obviously super-stalked the menu and decided we had to go here.  I mean, they have a “breakfast happy hour”… how could it be bad?  Boy was I WRONG!  BOO Anthony!  Boo!  Here’s the story:

We had an incredibly disappointing meal at Five-Point Cafe.  The service was just horrible.  I’m always the type of person to be super-sweet to servers, always understand, rarely complain, etc.  The first bad sign was how long we had to wait for our food.  It was maybe about twenty minutes before I started looking around for our food.  I noticed a few plates up by the kitchen window just sitting there waiting to be delivered to their tables.  Ten minutes passed.  They were still there.  Praying those plates weren’t ours, I asked another server (ours was nowhere to be found) to check on our orders.  They weren’t ours.  Whew!  Another ten minutes passed before our food came out (it’s now been about 40 minutes since we ordered BREAKFAST… this should not take that long).  I had ordered one of their famous Benedicts, the “Californian” with avocado and grilled tomato.  I was STARVING at this point and could not wait to dig in.  It looked delish.  I cut into my benny only to see no runny egg.  Whatttt?  My dish had been sitting so long that the egg turned hard… a hard boiled egg smothered in hollandaise.  I’m sorry, but this is just UNACCEPTABLE for a Benny, right?!  I had to flag down our server only to have her roll her eyes at me.  Great.  They brought out another dish for me 10 minutes later, having only removed the hard eggs and replaced with runny eggs and MORE hollandaise sauce.  Gross.  It was covered to the point where I couldn’t taste any of the food except the sauce.  Dave’s Corned Beef Hash (his version of my benedict… the “I don’t care about calories” breakfast-go-to) was served to him cold, which at this point was the least of our worries.  BOO!  What a disappointment.

What I thought would be a delicious benedict from 5-Point Cafe...

What I thought would be a delicious benedict from 5-Point Cafe…

Ended up disgusting.  I couldn't eat anything under all of that gloopy sauce.

Ended up disgusting. I couldn’t eat anything under all of that gloopy sauce.

Ready for a GOOD TIME after our terrible breakfast, we headed over to the EMP Museum of Music, Sci-Fi, and Pop-Culture.  This wasn’t only the coolest looking building ever… it was the coolest museum ever.  We absolutely loved it.

Photo Cred: Journeysinlightphotoblog.com

The EMP Museum is one funky building!              Photo Cred: Journeysinlightphotoblog.com

They had exhibits about Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Sci-Fi movies and TV, Video Games, Fantasy, Horror Movies, and even an entire area where you could play around with music.  Dave was the happiest person ever being able to go into a sound proof room and play the drums for the first time in years.  We also got to try out sound mixing too.  This place isn’t just for kids, it’s for big kids like us!

Center of the EMP Museum... so cool

Center of the EMP Museum… so cool

Dave's replaced King Geoffrey in the Game of Thrones in the fantasy section of the EMP Museum.

Dave’s replaced King Geoffrey in the Game of Thrones in the fantasy section of the EMP Museum.

Caught in the reflection of the funky EMP Museum building

Caught in the reflection of the funky EMP Museum building

My favorite picture of them all... the reflection of the space needle outside the EMP Museum

My favorite picture of them all… the reflection of the space needle outside the EMP Museum

We stopped by a coffee shop for a pick-me-up and went back to the Space Needle.  Our train at 6pm took us to Vancouver to visit with Dave’s family for a few days.  I could not believe how much sightseeing we got done in just over 24 hours!

Our 3-Day, 3-Night visit to Vancouver was amazing.  I have lots to tell you and tons of pictures to share of our amazing food adventure… so that will have to wait until later.  We arrived back in Seattle for one last day on Tuesday morning.

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After checking into our hotel, we took a nice long walk through the city, bringing us back to the Pike Place Market again.  This time around, we were able to buy some souvenirs and iced coffees at the very first Starbucks!  I was one happy, perfectly caffeinated girl.  We satisfied our hunger and oyster craving at Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar which was a tiny little hole in the wall place near the market.  Oysters were slurped and a super-garlicky salmon soup was shared.  Yum.

Watson's Oyster Bar menus are printed on brown paper bags.  Love.

Watson’s Oyster Bar menus are printed on brown paper bags. Love.

Amazing soup at the Oyster Bar!

Amazing soup at the Oyster Bar!

Happy to be in the very first Starbucks.

Happy to be in the very first Starbucks.

First Starbucks Store

First Starbucks Store

Our last dinner in Seattle ended up bringing us back to 1000 Spirits (why not?!) for some more drinks and grub.  Dave and I are absolutely going to miss this place!

I didn’t get my normal “OMG I want to move here” feelings when we were leaving Seattle.  Maybe it’s because I’m just loving our new place in Philly?  Or maybe it’s because we had a few days in Vancouver (the most beautiful city on earth) sandwiched in the middle?  Regardless, I had such an amazing trip and would love to visit again!  Who’s with me?

I woke up on the plane to this unbelievable view of Mt. Rainier... wow!

I woke up on the plane to this unbelievable view of Mt. Rainier… wow!

Wasabi Marinade for Salmon

I kicked Salmon butt last night.  I finally figured out a great way to cook salmon… on my cast iron skillet.

Typically, I bake salmon in the oven or grill it in sauce and foil over on our BBQ… but this salmon was really something special.  I was able to get a nice brown crust on both sides of the salmon and most importantly keep an eye on the status of how well-done it was getting.  No more overcooked, dried out salmon in this house!!

Wasabi Marinade for Salmon

Makes enough marinade for 4 (6oz) Salmon Fillets

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Wasabi Powder 

1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon Dark Sesame Oil 

Pinches of Crushed Red Pepper and Ground Black Pepper

4 (6oz) Fillets of Salmon (skin removed)

Directions:

1.  Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag and mix.  Place two salmon fillets at a time in the marinade bag for about five minutes, flipping the bag halfway through to coat.

2.  Prepare your cast iron skillet (or other heavy non-stick pan) over medium heat.  Make sure it is seasoned or pre-oiled.  The pan should start to sizzle a bit in the middle when it is hot.  Place the two salmon fillets towards the center of the skillet.  Cook both sides for 3-5 mintues, flipping very carefully, trying not to break the salmon fillet or have any stick to your pan.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes and remove from the pan when both the top and bottom of the salmon are light pink and the middle is just a tad bit darker.  (removing the salmon a little early will prevent it from drying out!)  Repeat with the other fillets.

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light Dec 2003

I was so excited to have zero sticking problems with my cast iron skillet!  It cooked the salmon perfectly.

I was so excited to have zero sticking problems with my cast iron skillet! It cooked the salmon perfectly.

Delicious!  Great combination.

Delicious! Great combination.

I made all four fillets so Dave and I could have a nice hearty lunch- salmon over a salad on our big workout day.

I made all four fillets so Dave and I could have a nice hearty lunch- salmon over a salad on our big workout day.

Yahoo!  What a great marinade.  The salmon picks up the flavor in the short five minutes it’s soaking it up.  It isn’t overly gingery, wasabi-ish (not spicy at all actually), or even too salty from using the low-sodium soy.  It’s just sorta… well… perfect!

Dave and I ate this for dinner alongside an entire bag of fresh green beans I sauteed up while the salmon was cooking.  It’s nice to be able to make a quick dinner sometimes so I can actually relax!

Take a minute to look at some of these other seafood recipes I have for ya!

Asian Marinated Sea Scallops

Asian Marinated Sea Scallops

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade for Tilapia

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade for Tilapia

Seared Scallops and Shrimp over Creamy Linguine

Seared Scallops and Shrimp over Creamy Linguine

 

 

 

Devon Seafood Grill

This weekend, I had the pleasure of celebrating my boyfriend Dave’s birthday at an amazing restaurant with his family.  Dave’s parents took us to Devon Seafood Grill– a beautiful restaurant overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.

We had such a great experience at Devon!  The food is absolutely outstanding, starting with the buttermilk biscuits that are hand delivered hot and fresh to the table (I had two!).  We ordered a bottle of wine for the table and tried out the Fried Calamari.  The calamari was hot and crispy and there was lots of fried jalapenos and carrots sprinkled around the calamari too.

What’s really awesome about Devon Seafood, is that the menu is printed every single day.  That means that they serve the freshest fish at all times.  There were so many types to choose from!  Our server was really attentive and was able to answer ALL of our questions about the different kinds of fish.  After a long time of deciding, we all picked our entrees:  the Swordfish (grilled), the Hawaiian Opah (Blackened), the Crabcakes, the Red Snapper (blackened), and the Blackened Chicken Penne Pasta.  There were so many other things I wanted to try too!

Everything was so yummy.  Dave and I split the Snapper and the famous Crab Cakes.  Besides being able to try two really yummy dishes, that meant that we got to have a few bites of FOUR different sides!  MMM!  We chose the Grilled Asparagus, the Roasted Cauliflower, the Yukon Mashed Potatoes, and the Parmesan Roasted Potatoes.

The Red Snapper (blackened) with Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes

The Red Snapper (blackened) with Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes

The Opah with Sweet Potato Gratin (OMG) and Green Beans

The Opah with Sweet Potato Gratin (OMG) and Green Beans

Swordfish with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus

Swordfish with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus

Blackened Chicken Penne

Blackened Chicken Penne

... and finally the Crabcakes!  With Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

… and finally the Crabcakes! With Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

Devon Seafood was the perfect place to go as a family for a celebration dinner!  There was something on the menu for everyone and the food was fantastic.  The service was amazing too… and they accept reservations!  If you’re looking for a beautiful, nice restaurant with amazing food… look no further!  

*PS- Check in on Yelp when you go for FREE Calamari!!*

Check out a few other fav restaurants you might like…

Foxfire Restaurant @ the Stone Barn

Foxfire Restaurant @ the Stone Barn

Sampan in Philly

Sampan in Philly

 

Radicchio Cafe in Philly

Radicchio Cafe in Philly

 

 

 

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

I don’t make seafood enough.  Call this my attempt to rectify that fact.  I make salmon a lot, but it’s normally broiled or grilled with the same spicy Asian teriyaki mix.  I’m over it.  It’s time for some change (cue Peter Brady… when it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange!!!!) in my seafood repertoire; I’m going to put some Tilapia in the mix today.

I made this marinade the other day and used it with the Tilapia.  It turned out really well, and I would absolutely use it again!  The original recipe says it would be good on chicken, but I thought the citrus worked really well with the fish.  I think it would be really great on the grill in the summer!

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

Recipe from:  Cooking Light

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 Orange) 
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 Limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:  For the Tilapia, I took 4 fillets and placed them in a cooking-spray coated pyrex dish.  Combine the marinade ingredients (except paprika) and pour over the fish.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Broil in the oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is done.  Top with Paprika and some fresh Black Pepper.

Before

Before

and After!

and After!

Trader Joe’s Mahi Mahi Burgers

OOOH.  Just tried an awesome new Trader Joe’s product:  TJ’s Mahi Mahi Burgers.  TJ’s sells a box of 4 of these frozen burgers for $6.99, so it’s a great deal and it’s pretty delicious.

The first time I tried one of these burgers, I seasoned it just a touch and ate it plain.  It was so good!  The burgers are already pre-seasoned so they are nice and yummy- you don’t have to do anything else to them while cooking if you don’t want to.  This time around, I cooked the Mahi Mahi burger on the stovetop with some Sweet Chili sauce and Teriyaki.  I toasted a Whole Wheat English Muffin and sauteed some Zucchini on the side.  Delish!